Orange County Health Department to host prostate cancer, breast cancer screenings

Orange County. This free event will be held on Valentine’s Day at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center.

| 31 Jan 2024 | 11:38

The Orange County Department of Health (OCDOH), in partnership with the Newburgh Armory, Mount Sinai Hospital, Cornerstone Family Healthcare, and Cultivating Healing and Justice Initiative, will host a “Sweetheart Screening” for prostate cancer and breast cancer from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14th at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center (321 S William St, Newburgh).

“This is more than just about cancer screening. This is an opportunity to come together, celebrate our relationships, and, perhaps, save a life with early detection,” Orange County Health Commissioner Dr. Alicia Pointer said. “Everyone should feel comfortable talking about cancer screening with the people they care about. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like ‘Hey, have you asked your doctor about a mammogram?’”

Dr. Pointer said that healthcare professionals at the event will utilize a blood test, which measures the level of a substance made by the prostate called prostate specific antigen (PSA). An elevated PSA can indicate prostate cancer, but other causes exist as well. Attendees will receive personalized education and get their results in about an hour. The screenings are free.

Healthcare providers will also be available to perform breast cancer screening exams for the first 20 attendees. There will be education and information about breast cancer screening for all guests.

According to the New York State Department of Health, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in New York State, excluding skin cancer. Each year, almost 15,500 New Yorkers are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1,700 die of the disease. It is estimated that one in seven men assigned male at birth will develop prostate cancer during their life.

Non-Hispanic Black men have the highest rates of prostate cancer incidence and mortality of any racial/ethnic group. In New York State, Black men are one and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer and almost twice as likely to die of the disease compared to white men. Screening is available to detect prostate cancer early when it may be easiest to treat.

Likewise, breast cancer is one of the most common cancers for women, with about 16,700 New Yorkers getting diagnosed with breast cancer yearly and 2,500 women in New York dying each year from breast cancer. In Orange County, breast cancer mortality for Black women is twice as high as it is for white women.

Cancer screening has risks and benefits. The choice to be screened for prostate cancer is an individual one and should be made after talking to a healthcare provider.

“Prostate cancer awareness and screening is something we all must take seriously and I want to thank Dr. Pointer and her staff for organizing this event,” Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus said. “Proper education and screening can save lives, and early detection can substantially improve your outcome when battling this disease.”

For more information about the Sweetheart Screening event, contact the OCDOH at 845-291-3230.